Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care

Preparing you to carry out a practice-focused research project at doctoral level

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Our Professional Doctorate is designed to enable advanced practitioners to lead and respond innovatively to the rapidly changing health and social care environment.

We develop leaders who can improve health and wellbeing through addressing local, regional and national concerns, and who have the ability to build evidence bases that inform policy and practice development.

You’ll develop skills in critical analysis, enquiry and research through core units of study with relevance to health and care professionals in practice, across the state, third sector and business sectors.

This will help you to form your own conclusions about the implications for your professional practice, and intervene in health and social care debates as appropriate.

We deliver this practice-based course in two phases. Phase one, in the first two years of study (part time) one year (full-time), involves the study of four core units and one option unit. We teach these units via blended learning, a mix of face-to-face teaching, and online, supervised and guided study.

In phase two, (years three-five part-time; years two and three full-time), you’ll undertake independent study under supervision, submitting your thesis of approximately 40,000 – 60,000 words.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

You’ll develop skills in critical analysis, enquiry and research, helping you to lead and respond innovatively to the rapidly changing health and social care environment.

You could become an experienced practitioner-researcher, or further your career in academia.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto this programme, students are expected to have achieved a minimum of a 2:1 Undergraduate degree classification or have successfully completed a masters degree. We will also consider applications from students with less formal qualifications if they can demonstrate equivalent professional experience and evidence of study at Level 7.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Our Professional Doctorate (DProf) gives you the opportunity to gain academic recognition at doctoral level through a research project that links to your specialist area of practice.

Keeping the service user at the centre of your thinking, you’ll engage with policy, practice, and debates in relation to health and social care to inform the research you undertake.

If you opt for the three-year, full-time route, you’ll usually study four core units and one option unit over the first year. Option units may include topics such as contemporary issues in practice or the principles of health economics.

If you opt for the part-time route, you’ll typically study phase one over two years, and phase two up to four years.

In phase two, you’ll focus on your thesis. This is a typically a piece of original research that enables you to better understand, engage, and improve your own practice.

You’ll typically submit a thesis of 40,000 – 60,000 words in year three. You will be questioned on aspects of your thesis and you’ll have the opportunity to respond constructively in a viva voce exam.

Core Units (40 credits)

  • Collection, Management and Analysis of Data
  • Practitioner Research: Philosophical, Political, Ethical and Practical Issues
  • Person Centred Practice



Core units (40 credits)

  • Evidence based practice and project planning

Optional Units (20 credits)

  • Contemporary issues in Health and Social Care
  • Contemporary issues in practice
  • Principles of Health Economics
  • Safeguarding in Health and Social Care




The final core unit Thesis is commenced in the third year and extends to the end of the programme.

Department of Health Professions

Our Department of Health Professions teaches subjects including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and nutritional sciences.

The department is committed to ensuring its courses stay relevant and up-to-date with current professional practice, by maintaining links with colleagues in clinical practice and research.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £2,164 per year. Tuition fees may increase each academic year in line with Research Council indicative guidelines.

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Please contact the department for more information about the fees for this course.

Additional Information

A Master's qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Taught tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). Research tuition fees may increase each academic year in line with Research Council indicative guidelines.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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Want to know more?

How to apply

Download our course application form. There are instructions on what to do next and who to send the form to in the Word document.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.